Guest Author - D. Lynn Byrne, Ph.D.
Did you ever wonder what the President thought about how your children are educated? President Obama makes no secret about where he stands on the issue. The key to our children's succes and to the success of our nation lies with the individual student.
(1) In regards to positive outcomes for students in PreK-12, we can give them good facilities, good teachers, and standardized curriculum, but students have to take a personal interest in and responsibility for their own educational success.
(2) In regards to the No Child Left Behind act, strengthen it and put more money towards programs that support the effort so that no child is left behind. But keep in mind item (1). No matter how much money we spend on facilities, teachers or programs, its the student's responsibility to succeed.
(3) Provide tax credits for tuition/fees so families can afford to send their students to college. But keep in mind item (1). It's the student's responsibility to achieve a successful outcome in PreK-12. If the student doesn't take personal responsibility and achieve the appropriate outcome, well...
(4) Curb high school dropouts. Our rates are much too high and we need to invest more in intervention programs to keep our children in school. But keep in mind item (1). It's the student's responsibility to succeed. If they're not interested in or encouraged by the programs and there's no change in the actual educational process to encourage an interest, how do we encourage them to take responsibility for the outcome?
(5) Recruit more teachers, pay them higher salaries and give them more support. Unfortunately, I keep coming back to the administration's key focus, item (1). The administration has implied that it doesn't matter how much money we spend for teachers, facilities or programs, it's the student's responsibility to insure a good outcome.
Now, I'll admit this article appears to have a slightly negative bent. The fact is, I fully support Obama's ideal of personal responsibility. It's 100 percent true that individual success is dependent, in a large part, on taking an interest in and taking responsibility for the process that leads up to success. But, without a plan to reform the educational process so that it adequately meets the individual needs of the student, how can we expect the individual student to buy-in to the educational process and take responsibility for the outcome? Something to think about.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Stop by the School Reform forum and share your views or send me an e-mail.
Until next time, happy reading!